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Finding strength from within: report on three local projects looking at mental health and recovery with people from some of the black and minority ethnic communities in Edinburgh

This exploratory community development project gathered the experiences around recovery of people using mental health services who come from some of the black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in Edinburgh. The project involved around 50 people from BME communities. The work with each of the three smaller projects was designed around the circumstances of that service and the ways in which those participants or service users wished to take part. This took place between December 2007 and May 2008.

The three small projects took different approaches to discussing similar issues. The NHS Lothian Minority Ethnic Mental Health Project invited people who had been in touch with the service and other people from BME communities who had contact with NHS Lothian mental health services to take part in individual interviews.

The Men’s Forum at Men in Mind invited the development worker from Outside the Box to come to one of the Forum meetings, where people talked about wellbeing and recovery and decided that they would like to have an event which provided information for men from minority ethnic communities.

At Saheliya, a group of women came together to talk about recovery and wellbeing and put together a presentation which was a record of their stories and could be shown at conferences or to groups and individual people.

This final report brings together the themes which were raised across the three small projects and describes what people identified as their priorities within these issues and their suggestions for services. It also describes what people have said about taking part in the project and being able to explore their experiences around recovery and wellbeing.

Scottish Recovery Network